Erin's Law (Personal Safety)
Erin’s Law - Resources for Parents - Personal Safety Education
Illinois public schools are required by law to provide all students, from Grades Pre-K through 12, with age-appropriate personal safety awareness and prevention education. In order to comply with the requirement to provide developmentally sensitive and appropriate training for students, lessons have been carefully developed by Mental Health professionals in District 15. Classroom teachers have received annual professional development on this topic since the 2013-14 school year.
What is Erin’s Law?
The Comprehensive Health Education Act, often referred to as Erin’s Law, was signed into law in January, 2013. The law expanded existing requirements that schools provide instruction in age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault prevention to include grades pre-kindergarten through 5.
Erin’s Law is named for Erin Merryn, an abuse survivor, who is now a national advocate for sexual abuse. The website for Erin’s Law can be found at: http://erinslaw.org/
Erin’s Law Presentations in District 15
The Erin’s Law presentations in District 15 (see below) were carefully designed by Mental Health Professionals in District 15 to be sensitive and developmentally appropriate for students’ age and grade level. The presentations to students are designed to be presented by classroom teachers as a part of the school’s Social Emotional Learning lessons, health class, or human growth and development instruction. The lesson can be taught within a classroom, or to combined classes at a grade level. Each lesson consists of a 30-45 minute PowerPoint presentation.
Parents are encouraged to review the information on this website so that you can become familiar with the information. Please feel free to contact your school principal if you have any questions about the lessons or the information to be presented. Materials are also available in the school office.
Student Learning Outcomes
Elementary students will learn:
- about body awareness and control,
- to recognize potentially dangerous situations,
- to recognize “OK” and “Not OK” touch,
- how to say “No” or “Stop” to no matter who the person is,
- to get away from a situation that is unsafe immediately, and
- who to talk to and what to say.
Junior High School Students
Seventh-grade students will participate in a lesson on recognizing and responding appropriately to sexual harassment. Eighth-grade students will participate in a lesson on dating respect.
The junior high discussions are designed to be a classroom-based lesson informing students about how to:
- stand up for themselves (empowerment),
- protect themselves from being a victim,
- help friends in potentially abusive situations,
- identify adults that they can talk to,
- handle unsafe situations, and
- deal with methods abusers use to keep victims silent.
What should adults do to provide support to a child if he or she reports having been approached or touched in an inappropriate way?
The best things an adult can do is to:
- remain calm and listen,
- thank the child for trusting and telling you,
- assure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling an adult,
- believe the child and follow up, and
- involve the school social worker or school psychologist as soon as possible to get support for the child, for the family and for yourself.